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National Stress Awareness Day: Can Exercise Help?

Posted on 2nd November 2018 by

National Stress Awareness Day is today and it aims to make people more aware of the impact stress National Stress Awareness Daycan have on your everyday life. It also aims to help people identify ways to deal with this stress and find a way to reduce it.

Research has shown that increased stress levels can lead to an increased risk of injury.

How do stress levels impact on injury risk?

  • Stress can increase muscular tension, which can then lead to aches and pain. Neck and back muscles are particularly prone to stress related tension.
  • Increased muscular tension can also lead to muscle strains or tears as the muscle is under a greater load and is less flexible than normal.
  • Stress levels may cause you to forget an important piece of equipment when working out, such as proper running shoes or corrective orthotic insoles. This places additional strain on your body, raising the risk of injury.
  • Stress on your time management might force you to exercise at different times, for example first thing in the morning when your muscles aren’t fully warmed up or last thing in the day when you are tired. It might also cause you to rush or not take as much care when you are exercising.
  • High stress levels can also reduce your body’s immunity levels, increasing the likelihood of a poor recovery from any minor injury.
  • You may also find that stress distracts you from the activity in front of you – whether that is exercising, working or even a simple task such as crossing the road or walking up stairs. This distraction could result in a sprained joint or pulled muscle.

Research has also suggested that stress can be reduced through regular exercise and movement.

How can exercise reduce my stress levels?

  • Exercise gives you something to focus on away from the cause of your stress.
    It helps to boost your mood by increasing self confidence, improving sleep quality and reducing anxiety.
  • Any form of exercise will help – even a short walk at lunch time or getting off the bus a stop early allows you to get some fresh air and takes your mind away from stressful thoughts.
  • A flexibility based exercise, such as Pilates or Yoga, will help to reduce muscle tension and can help ease aching related to this.
  • Scheduling some time specifically for exercising may also help as it will give your day structure and breaks up time spent sat in front of the computer!
  • If you exercise with friends, colleagues or family, the social element of this will again boost your mood and reduce stress levels.
  • Find a new sport or something fun to do – there are lots of different things out there to try!

Many people find a regular, professional sports or deep tissue massage can be a really great way to relieve the build up of stress and tension physically. It also gives you time to yourself to unwind.

Here are the top 10 steps to stress free living from International Stress Management Association UK.

National Stress Awareness Day

#NationalStressAwarenessDay


Why is acupuncture like winding spaghetti round a fork or going fishing?

Posted on 3rd October 2018 by

At goPhysio our team of Clinicians are trained to use a variety of acupuncture techniques, from Dry Needling (which focuses on the myofascial trigger points), through to Traditional Chinese Acupuncture. 

The different methods of acupuncture can all be used to assist in the treatment of a variety of injuries from knee pain through to headaches, helping speed up the return to active rehabilitation as well as improving general health and wellbeing.

Traditional Chinese Acupuncture

Traditional Chinese Acupuncture is based around specific acupuncture points, of which there are over 2000 in the body (361 commonly used points identified by the World Health Organisation in 1991).  These points are connected by pathways called meridians.  These pathways conduct energy, known as Qi, through the body and its internal organs. Acupuncture at goPhysio

When we experience pain, one theory is that it is due to a disruption in the flow of this energy.  When acupuncture is administered using this method the therapist is aiming to elicit a sensation known as De-qi in order to harmonise the flow of Qi (energy).  De-qi is the sensation that is felt by the person receiving the acupuncture and is a sign to the acupuncturist that indicates the curative effect has been initiated.  De-qi can be described in numerous ways ranging from a sensation of heaviness, warmth, cold or aching through to tingling or numbness.  

As well as a physical sensation felt by the person receiving the acupuncture De-qi is also a biomechanical phenomenon known as needle grasp.  In needle grasp the therapist feels resistance to further needle manipulation/stimulation which has been described as a fish biting on a line (Song to Elucidate Mysteries, Biao You Fu).

Dry Needling, or Myofascial Needling

Dry Needling, or Myofascial Needling, is based around placing the acupuncture needles in areas of tightness/restriction or muscular trigger points.  Several theories as to how this method of needling works include the stimulation of the nervous system, relaxation of trigger points (tight knots) and the stimulation of the body to produce substances called endorphins and natural opiods which reduce pain. Acupuncture Treatment Chandlers Ford

As with Traditional Chinese Acupuncture, the therapist will manipulate the needle, most commonly by rotating it.  This fundementally leads to the winding of the tissues around the needle like winding spaghetti round a fork (at a microscopic level!).  

The needle grasp (fish biting on a line) that is felt in Chinese acupuncture is the same as the winding of tissues (spaghetti around the fork) that is elicited in dry needling/myofascial needling.

Consequently the two approaches to acupuncture have many overlaps both from a patient experience as well as the therapist application.

When would acupuncture benefit me?

Our Clinicians may suggest acupuncture to you as a treatment technique, if they think it would help ease your pain or symptoms. It is generally a treatment used as part of a holistic recovery plan, a good way to help ease your pain so you can get more active and move easier, which in turn will boost your recovery. It is often combined with an exercise programme, education and advice and other physio treatments that will help your recovery.

People who’ve read this page have also read Acupuncture helped ease my neck pain, Acupuncture Awareness Week, Acupuncture Myths.


Runners – We Need Your Help!

Posted on 27th February 2018 by

We are trying to find out more about what injured runners do to get back to pain-free running, and would love to hear from you! If you’re interested in helping us out, please take a few moments to answer a couple of questions by clicking here. Many thanks.

The Injured Runner Project

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To tape or not to tape?

Posted on 26th February 2018 by

When it comes to tape, taping and strapping, things can get a little confusing due to the shear number of different tapes on the market, application methods, reported effects, when to use them, etc.

This blog aims to shed some light on four of the most common tapes out there by describing what they are, why you’d use each them and at what times to use them.

First up, Leukotape Leukotape at goPhysio Taping

  • Used for stabilising joints following injury or during rehabilitation to prevent reoccurrences.
  • Also used to offload painful structures such as irritate knees or hips.
  • This is a non-stretchy, 100% rigid tape that will cause a decrease in range of motion when applied correctly.
  • It has a high adhesive strength which allows it to stick well to skin, and even better to hyperfix (white underlay).
  • It’s 100% cotton which makes it skin-friendly, handy for hikers or runners looking to avoid blisters.
  • Drawbacks: non-elastic and range limiting.

Zinc Oxide Tape Zinc Oxide Tape goPhysio Taping

  • Similar to Leukotape, this white tape offers a little more comfort but with the same rigid properties.
  • Used to protect and stabilise joints for injury prevention.
  • Lighter and less bulky than a brace, this tape will conform to the shape of a joint to provide support.
  • Very popular in climbers to protect the joints of the hand and fingers.
  • Drawbacks: restrictive, range limiting and ineffective if used on oily or sweaty skin.

Kinesiology Tape (K Tape)

  • A popular cotton-based, water-resistant tape with various effects on the applied tissues.
  • This is the colourful tape you often see on athletes or sports people. K Tape goPhysio Taping
  • Lymphatic effects: creates a vertical lift from underlying tissues which decompresses the space between the skin and the muscles. This facilitates blood flow, fluid drainage (management of bruising) and the removal of pain-provoking chemicals from injured tissues.
  • Mechanical effects: longitudinal stretch of up to 180% provides stability and elastic resistance to muscles, ligaments and tendons.
  • Neurological effects: creates a stimulus on the skin that reduces pain signals received by the brain (pain-relief). The vertical lift will also reduce pressure on free nerve endings to help reduce pain levels.
  • Drawbacks: can cause skin irritation if applied incorrectly. Can occasionally cause allergic skin reactions. Application can be complex. Research on the effectiveness of this tape is inconclusive.

Dynamic Tape 

  • A synthetic material (nylon and lyrca) with 4-way stretch.
  • Strong elastic properties make this the ultimate biomechanical tape, with stretch capabilities of up to 200% of it’s resting length.
  • Great adhesion means it will last longer, even when worn during vigorous exercise or in the shower.Dynamic Tape goPhysio Taping
  • When applied correctly this tape will offload injured tissues and offer elastic resistance when performing exercise.
  • This purely biomechanical, load-absorbing tape reduces the force on injured tissues, assists weak muscles, provides support during eccentric loading and improves movement patterns.
  • This tape can also lift the skin if applied accordingly, to facilitate the removal of bruises or relieve tension on underlying structures.
  • Drawbacks: can cause skin irritation and the stronger dynamic tape (eco tape) can reduce mobility quite considerably.

So, in a nutshell……

  • Opt for Leukotape or Zinc Oxide to immobilise and protect joints, the latter offering slightly more comfort but being less durable.
  • Choose K Tape for its range of potential effects, but remember that it lacks strong elastic properties to facilitate movement with any real support.
  • If you need strong, elastic support choose Dynamic Tape. It can be applied in a number of ways to work just as muscles do, which supports tissues and improves movement patterns.

If you have any doubt on the application or desired effects of taping, make an appointment to see one of our team at our clinic in Chandlers Ford, Hampshire. Just give us a call on 023 8025 3317.

 

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Cut out the middle man

Posted on 1st February 2018 by

In a recent survey we carried out of the people attending our clinic, we found their key frustrations when dealing with health care providers wasPhysiotherapy self referral

  1. Having to wait for an appointment
  2. Availability of appointments

Thankfully, there’s a way forward. Self referral. With physiotherapist being the experts in effectively diagnosing and treating a huge range of painful conditions; from back pain to calf tears, post surgical recovery to sports injuries, arthritis to growing pains. For musculoskeletal (MSK) injuries, a physiotherapist is your best first point of call. Regulated medical practitioners in their own right, you don’t need to be referred by a middle man – you can refer yourself.

So many people still see their GPs as the ‘gate keepers’ to their care, and in many instances this still holds true. But with MSK injuries, this in’t always the best way. If you have an MSK pain or injury, seeing your GP first will only result in the following:

  1. Waiting time to see your GP, which can be weeks if it’s not urgent
  2. Taking time off work to see your GP during their opening hours
  3. A brief consultation with your GP, who will often recommend resting and/or medication as a first line of action
  4. Possibly referral to an NHS Physiotherapist, which again can be weeks if not months

So, whats the alternative if you’ve got an MSK injury? You can pick up the phone from 8am 6 days a week (until 8pm Monday – Thursday) or hop onto your computer 24/7 and book online to see one of our specialists.

The result

  • You’ll get an appointment to see one of our experts, normally within 24 hours if not the same day
  • You’ll come away with a diagnosis and pro-active treatment plan to resolve your individual injury tailored around your lifestyle
  • You’ll be back doing what you love doing, free from pain, quickly

So, not only does this save you lot’s of angst, worry, waiting and frustration, it significantly helps reduce the burden on the NHS, freeing up their resources to help ‘sick’ people. Your GP does not have to be the ‘middle man’, you can refer yourself directly to physiotherapy.

“GP’s are not hands on when making a diagnosis and lack expertise in different areas – no reflection on GPs, but they are not the experts”

Mrs P, goPhysio Patient, January 2018

 

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Hot OR cold?

Posted on 16th January 2018 by

It’s a common dilemma, you’ve picked up an injury but aren’t sure whether to put ice on it or use heat? Both can be great at relieving pain from an injury, but in some instances it’s better to use heat and in others cold.

So, take a look at our quick reference to guide you!

Hot or cold for injury

This article provides general advice and does not replace individual medical advice. Before you treat an injury yourself, if you are concerned about your symptoms or have specific questions, please seek appropriate medical attention.

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Runners – The Importance of Footwear and getting it right!

Posted on 15th January 2018 by

For a runner, running footwear is the most important piece of kit you will have in your running career (well – joint-most important next to a good Sports Bra for you ladies!). You will fight together through tarmac and forest paths, from quick mid-week runs to the long, slow Sunday ones. Training and racing side by side – so, with the Hendy Eastleigh 10km around the corner, you need to a pair of shoes you’re going to get on with!

Running Footwear has evolved so much in the last decade, it would be naïve to attempt to choose your perfect shoe alone. There are so many variables such as cushioning, stability, heel offsets and durability across well over 20 brands, who have up 30 shoes each on the market. That’s a lot of shoes!!

So, as your Official Health Partner of the Hendy Eastleigh 10km 2018, we thought to give you 5 points to find your match made in heaven:

  1. Support your local shop. Don’t buy online – you can’t get fitted properly over a computer- not yet at least! Go in and talk to someone one-to-one and get a gait analysis done. A gait analysis helps identify any abnormalities in your running style and whether it can be corrected with a particular set of shoes. The main movement they will look out for is the term ‘pronation’ and other elements such as heel striking and lateral/medial rotation of the hip. From this information, they will be able to suggest the best solution for you.
  2. Be open minded – don’t judge a shoe by its colour or brand. Always try what the shop recommends and get the shoe which feels most comfortable. Not the one which matches your new sports top! A pretty pair of shoes won’t hide the pain on your face half way round 10km!!
  3. Be transparent! Talk to them openly about your current aches and pains, and also what you like/don’t like about each of the shoes they suggest. That kind of feedback maybe the different between getting a good shoe and the perfect shoe for you!
  4. Don’t be too limited on price. For a good pair of running shoes, you’ll be looking at spending around £110 for a decent pair. It’s an investment for sure, but the shoes will last you long time and can offset a lot injuries and pain in the long run – no pun intended! They will last ~450 miles for the higher mileage shoes before you need to consider replacing them. So for someone doing 10 miles a week, that’s about a year!
  5. Don’t leave it too late! Give it at least three weeks before the race. Trust me from experience – it will make you re-evaluate everything you thought you knew about blisters otherwise! Break the shoe in properly with about 5 x 5km runs. And then, if you have any issues, just talk to them. It does happen and they will usually be keen to rectify the problem. But be wary, most guarantees only last a month!

Good luck to all who are doing the Hendy Eastleigh 10km! Fingers crossed for good weather and we will see you there as your Official Health Partner for the day!

Cameron Knapp

goPhysio – Sports Massage Therapist

Read More 

How to warn up for running

Top tips for injured runners

Runners – how to maximise your training time


Physiotherapist or Sports Therapist?

Posted on 29th September 2017 by

Being able to offer a range of services and solutions to your injury problems all under one roof, is The Chartered Society of physiotherapists something we’re very proud to offer here at goPhysio in Chandlers Ford.

This means a range of professionals who are best placed to help you with your injury concerns. We have a great team on board here and we often get asked;

“Who’s there best person to see? A Physiotherapist or Sports Therapist?

The short answer is, that both professionals are highly trained and experienced to treat your injury. The types of injuries people come to see us for here at goPhysio are called musculoskeletal (MSK) problems. So those issues affecting bones, joints, muscles, tendons, ligaments etc. such as back pain, sports injuries, whiplash, overuse injuries and such. There are some key similarities and differences in their training and approach.

In this article we aim to explain more about these 2 professions, to help guide you to seeing the most appropriate person to get you back doing what you love.

Physio’s and Sports Therapists have both had to complete a degree or masters qualification at University, so are highly educated in assessing MSK problems and applying a wide range of treatments to effectively resolve your pain and injury. Both focus on restoring, maintaining and maximising movement alongside relieving the pain of your injury and optimising your quality of life.

Both Physiotherapists and Sports Therapists have the skills and knowledge to:

  • Assess and diagnose your MSK injury
  • Formulate and deliver customised and effective treatment and rehabilitation plans to optimise your recovery from injury
  • Use a variety of treatment techniques to relieve your pain and help resolve your injury
  • Educate and advise people on management of long term MSK conditions
  • Support you with getting active and staying fit and well
  • Get you back doing what you love, free from pain or injury
  • Help you improve physical performance
  • Prevent injury or recurring injuries

Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy is a healthcare profession, regulated by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). Physiotherapy and Physical Therapy are both protected titles, so individuals have to have completed an approved degree or masters course and meet and maintain strict standards set out by the HCPC in order to use this title.

Physiotherapy helps restore movement and function when someone is affected by injury, illness or disability. Physiotherapists help people of all ages affected by injury, illness or disability through movement and exercise, manual therapy, education and advice. The Chartered Society of Physiotherapists

During their training, Physiotherapists will learn how to manage a variety of different conditions associated with different systems of the body and different client groups. This includes orthopaedics, neurology, cardiovascular, respiratory, elderly, children and women’s health. Once they are qualified, they may choose to specialise in any one of these areas and work in a variety of settings such as hospitals, schools, sports clubs, private clinics and industry. Subsequently, they have a very wide and varied knowledge base and experience.

Sports Therapy

Sports Therapists are experts in musculoskeletal disorders. Their degree course focuses on the musculoskeletal system and treating pain and injury throughs hands on treatments and rehabilitation.

Sports Therapy is an aspect of healthcare that is specifically concerned with the prevention of injury and the rehabilitation of the patient back to optimum levels of functional, occupational and sports specific fitness, regardless of age and ability. It utilises the principles of sport and exercise sciences incorporating physiological and pathological processes to prepare the participant for training, competition and where applicable, work. The Society of Sports Therapists 

Despite the name, Sports Therapists don’t just see people with sports injuries. At the end of the day, an injury is an injury, however you’ve suffered it. Whether you’ve sprained your ankle out shopping or playing football, a Sports Therapist is well equipped to help you.

In Summary

  • Both Physiotherapists and Sports Therapists are trained to a high level to expertly assess, diagnose and help with your injury recovery.
  • Physiotherapists have a broad based training, so if you have a more complex history or other medical conditions, that need to be considered, they may be the better person to see.
  • Sports Therapists will be well equipped to support your full return to sport, focusing very much on rehabilitation and high level exercise if this is your goal.

Both professions will have taken different paths after graduating, so you may find a Sports Therapist who’s taken a less ‘sporty’ path in their profession, just as you may find a Physio who’s specialised in sports. So, be guided by your needs and the individual experience of the clinicians available to see.

The important thing is, that your form a good relationship with your Clinician, you can communicate with them well and you feel the benefit from their treatment programme and plan.

If you’d like further advice who to see for your injury, then please do get in touch.

 

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Rehabilitation: Why it is Crucial to You and Your Performance!

Posted on 24th May 2017 by

By definition, rehabilitation is the restoration of optimal form (anatomy) and function goPhysio Rehabilitation(physiology). It is a structured process, designed and delivered by your therapist, to reduce time-loss from injury, promote recovery, and maximise your functional capacity, fitness and performance.

After sustaining an injury,  the rehabilitation process should start as soon as safely possible. It can run in parallel with the therapeutic interventions that your physiotherapist will deliver.

Should an injury require surgery, rehabilitation can also start before or immediately after to enhance your outcomes. This is well evidenced with research showing people who engaged in rehab prior to undergoing their surgery had much better outcomes than patients who only had rehab after surgery.

There is also evidence to show rehab is as beneficial as some surgeries for various shoulder, hip, knee and lower back conditions.

Rehab Planning

At the centre of the rehabilitation plan is you! Planning starts at the first appointment, and during our appointments, we will be gathering lots information about you and your activities to ensure we prepare you to return safely to the same environment in which the injury occurred. This is the perfect time to focus on not just your injury, but other aspects of your performance to ensure your ability to perform will be better than before!

When planning rehabilitation, it’s crucial to consider the injured structure involved and where you sit in relation to the body’s natural phases of healing. There are 5 overlapping stages to consider and doing so allows the appropriate load to be applied at all times to promote tissue healing. This is where our experience, training and knowledge really come into their own. If you’ve suffered an injury and just rest until it feels better and then go straight back to what you were doing before, you can really increase your risk of re-injury or other problems. If you’re serious about looking after your body, investing in long term durability so you can keeping what you love, rehabilitation is crucial.

On a more detailed level, as your body heals, controlled therapeutic stress is necessary to optimise collagen matrix formation, but too much stress can damage new structures.

So, choosing the level of load that neither overloads nor underlaps the healing tissue is therefore crucial to a successful rehabilitation process, and your therapist will be able to use their expert knowledge to prescribe suitable exercises throughout the process.

To do this, we ensure rehabilitation is delivered in sequential phases that has specific therapeutic and rehabilitative objectives for each phase; as well as measurable, objective criteria for progression to each subsequent phase.

Overall this acts to promote:

  • Healing of injured tissues
  • Preparation of these tissues for return to function
  • Use of proper techniques to maximise rehabilitation & re-conditioning

With all this in mind, to supplement our existing and well established physiotherapy service, we are now adding a dedicated rehabilitation service at goPhysio. Rehabilitation has always been a key part of what we do here at goPhysio. However, this has often been on an advisory basis, giving you programmes that you can take away and do at home or in your gym. The ultimate outcome of such self administered programmes can be dependent on your adherence, how well you are doing the exercises and the frequency of the programme.

With our new Rehabilitation service, you will be given the support and opportunity to take part in supervised rehabilitation sessions, either as small groups or on an individual basis. This can be done in conjunction with physiotherapy treatment or when you reach a point in your recovery when rehabilitation is all you need.

In summary, the ultimate goal of the rehabilitation process that goPhysio delivers is to limit the extent of your injury, reduce or reverse the functional loss, and prevent, correct or eliminate the problem altogether. This process is crucial to preventing re-injury and improving YOUR overall performance. We look forward to seeing you in our newly developed ‘strong room’ for your rehab sessions!

We’re very excited to be able to offer this service at goPhysio – we’ll be launching it in a few weeks, so watch this space!